Baseball Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

Austyn Varney

Daily Fantasy MLB Baseball Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - 4/26/16


Welcome to Tuesday baseball! We have a full 15 game slate tonight with a ton of aces and a few gas cans. Just a note, while I was writing yesterday's article, Jorge De La Rosa was projected to pitch. Therefore, I will be copying and pasting what I wrote up yesterday for the Pirates. Make sure you check out the updates article as well as it will touch on nay breaking news and weather concerns.

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David PriceDavid Price FD 9400 DK 11400
Opponent - ATL (Wisler) Park - @ATL
FD - 44.48 DK - 25.15

This one is pretty simple for me. David Price is taking on the Braves on the road in Turner Field. Price will be taking on a lineup that consists of guys like Nick Markakis, Jeff Francouer and Drew Stubbs. The Braves have been atrocious against lefties this year as evidenced by their league worst .284 wOBA. Price has been outstanding against both righties and lefties over the past 4 years with a combined .275 wOBA. This is a plus ballpark factor for Price as well as Turner field is a top 10 pitchers park. I am comfortable with Price in both tournaments and cash games.

Johnny CuetoJohnny Cueto FD 9300 DK 10700
Opponent - SD (Shields) Park - @SF
FD - 42.62 DK - 23.33

Johnny Cueto has pitched pretty well to start the year with 4 straight quality starts. Cueto is going to have another great year after an off year last season. The peripherals suggest Cueto should be sitting around a 3.20 ERA and a 0.8 HR/9. The San Diego Padres are arguably the worst team in the league against righties with guys like Melvin Upton, Adam Rosales and Jemile Weeks in the lineup. I prefer Cueto in tournaments as I would rather go with Price, Scherzer or Kershaw in cash games. Cueto has insane upside with a 20% hard hit rate and a top 20 strikeout rate.

Kyle HendricksKyle Hendricks FD 7300 DK 8600
Opponent - MIL (Nelson) Park - @CHC
FD - 32.65 DK - 17.26

Kyle Hendricks will be taking the mound for the first game of the series against the Milwaukee brewers. Hendricks has pitched well to start the year with 3 quality starts out of 4. The brewers have been over performing this year and will be slowing down very soon. While I believe in the Brewers against lefties, I expect the Brewers to really struggle against righties. While I prefer Hendricks in tournaments, I think he is viable in cash if you want to pay up for Coors bats.

Consider - Max Scherzer, Cody Anderson

DFSR 705x90


Stephen VogtStephen Vogt FD 2700 DK 3400
Opponent - DET (Pelfrey) Park - @DET
FD - 11.31 DK - 9.02

Stephen Vogt has started the year swinging the bat pretty good with 2 home runs and 4 doubles. The Athletics will be taking on one of the worst pitchers on the slate in Mike Pelfrey. In 2015, Pelfrey gave up a .367 wOBA to lefties. Vogt has always hit righties well as exhibited by his career .331 wOBA and 113 wRC+. While this ballpark isn't terrific, it is certainly an upgrade from the Oakland Coliseum.

Miguel MonteroMiguel Montero FD 2500 DK 2800
Opponent - MIL (Nelson) Park - @CHC
FD - 9.4 DK - 7.42

Miguel Montero in the picks article? what a surprise! But hey, how can you avoid him? He is going to be hitting 6th or 7 in the best lineup in baseball. He is also sitting very cheap around the industry which only adds to the excitement. In 2015, Jimmy Nelson gave up a .376 wOBA and a 1.38 HR/9 to lefties. Miguel Montero on the other hand, had a .326 wOBA against righties in 2015.

Consider - Francisco Cervelli, Yasmani Grandal


Jose AbreuJose Abreu FD 3000 DK 4000
Opponent - TOR (Dickey) Park - @TOR
FD - 12.3 DK - 9.68

Jose Abreu and the White Sox will be facing off with the Toronto Blue and R.A. Dickey on the road in the Rogers Centre. While I am not one to take huge stock into BvP, it is a complete different story with the knuckleball. Abreu has gone 4 for 9 off Abreu with an outstanding 3 home runs. Abreu has hit righties well over the past 2 years with a .381 wOBA and .539 SLG. Dickey has even splits to both sides of the plate. I prefer Abreu in tournaments as he is a bit power reliant.

Brandon MossBrandon Moss FD 2800 DK 3300
Opponent - ARI (Miller) Park - @ARI
FD - 11.21 DK - 8.76

Brandon Moss has finally got going once again after struggling for a week. While you may look at Shelby Miller's stats from last year and think he is pretty good, last year was a total fluke. Miller's peripherals suggest he will decline greatly and it has already begun. In 2015, Brandon Moss hit righties well with 15 home runs in only 120 games. Moss is a strict tournament play for me as he is entirely home run dependent.

Consider - Mark Teixeira, Eric Hosmer



Jed LowrieJed Lowrie FD 2300 DK 3200
Opponent - DET (Pelfrey) Park - @DET
FD - 10.15 DK - 8.09

Jed Lowrie is absurdly under priced on both sites and will be worth heavy consideration until his price comes up. Today he will be taking on Mike Pelfrey and as mentioned above, Pelfrey is arguably the worst pitcher on the slate. Jed Lowrie has hit righties well with a .388 wOBA in 2015. I look for the Athletics to get to Pelfrey and for Lowrie to be right in the middle of it. I prefer Lowrie in cash as he doesn't have too much power.

Ben ZobristBen Zobrist FD 3000 DK 3600
Opponent - MIL (Nelson) Park - @CHC
FD - 10.59 DK - 8.39

Ben Zobrist is another hitter that is going to be in play all season due to the factors around him. Zobrist has righties well with a .331 wOBA in 2015. Jimmy Nelson has been much worse on the road with a xFIP 2 points higher. While the wind is currently blowing in in Wrigley, we need to keep an eye on that up until game time. However, Zobrist is not power reliant which makes me care a lot less about the wind. Zobrist is a great cash game and tournament option.

Consider - Jason Kipnis


Jordy MercerJordy Mercer FD 3500 DK 4000
Opponent - COL (De La Rosa) Park - @COL
FD - 10.34 DK - 8.35

JORDY MERCER IN COORS AGAINST A LEFTY! Is there anything more magical? well, yes. That's not the point. Mercer has been a notorious lefty crusher over the course of his career with a .380 wOBA and 148 wRC+. The numbers are no joke here as all the peripherals favor Mercer against lefties. The Pirates have been hitting him leadoff against lefties and I am not expecting that to change here. While De La Rosa isn't as bad as most people make him out to be, he struggles in Coors Field against righties. In 2015, De La Rosa gave up a .358 wOBA to righties in Coors Field. Keep your eye out for some more Pirates a little later.

Jimmy RollinsJimmy Rollins FD 2600 DK 3300
Opponent - TOR (Dickey) Park - @TOR
FD - 10.15 DK - 8.11

Jimmy Rollins has been surprisingly very good to start this year and will likely keep producing. As mentioned above, I like to look at BvP (Batter vs Pitcher history) when the knuckleball and Rollins is a strong 9 for 27. Rollins has always hit better from the left side of the plate, where he will be tonight. U.S. Cellular field will only help as it ranked in the top 10 last year for lefties.

Consider - Francisco Lindor, Brandon Crawford


David FreeseDavid Freese FD 3400 DK 3800
Opponent - COL (De La Rosa) Park - @COL
FD - 12.54 DK - 10

For whatever reason, the Pirates have decided to hit David Freese 3rd this year. While this is a decent (I guess) option against lefties, it makes no sense against righties. However, we don't really care about the Pirates reasoning for making stupid decisions. We need to take advantage of the situation. Freese has hit lefties well over the past few years with a .382 wOBA. As mentioned above, De La Rosa is not good against righties in Coors.

Chris CoghlanChris Coghlan FD 2600 DK 3300
Opponent - DET (Pelfrey) Park - @DET
FD - 12.24 DK - 9.74

I'll admit, it is very odd seeing Chris Coghlan at 3rd base. However, he has been on a tear lately with 3 homers in his last 5 games. I wont go into Pelfrey and how he is but just know that he is going to have some serious trouble containing this Athletics team. Since entering the league in 2009, Coghlan has hit righties to the tune of a .342 wOBA. I expect these Athletics to destroy Pelfrey and Coghlan has a great shot at being part of that.

Consider - Manny Machado, Travis Shaw


Starling MarteStarling Marte FD 4400 DK 5200
Opponent - COL (De La Rosa) Park - @COL
FD - 14.63 DK - 11.76
Andrew McCutchenAndrew McCutchen FD 4800 DK 5300
Opponent - COL (De La Rosa) Park - @COL
FD - 16 DK - 12.59

I won't go into why we should be targeting the righty Pirates bats again. However, let's look into these two guys. Against lefties, both McCutchen and Marte have a career wOBA over .375. While that is beyond great, the peripherals suggest they are very accurate. The Pirates should get to De La Rosa early and these guys will have a huge part to do with it.

Jacoby EllsburyJacoby Ellsbury FD 3100 DK 4300
Opponent - TEX (Griffin) Park - @TEX
FD - 11.78 DK - 9.48

Ellsbury finally hit his first home run of the season last night against a lefty. Tonight h e will be facing off with A.J. Griffin, a weak right hander. While Griffin's surface statistics portray his as a good pitcher, his peripherals suggest a completely different story. Griffin has held a career 4.30 xFIP and 1.5 HR/9. I look for Ellsbury to lead off and have a big game here. Ellsbury has a career .341 wOBA against righties.

Adam EatonAdam Eaton FD 2800 DK 3900
Opponent - TOR (Dickey) Park - @TOR
FD - 11.35 DK - 9.11

Adam Eaton is another White Sox hitter I am going to be targeting in my stacks. Eaton is the glue guy of this team and when he goes, they go. Eaton gives you a ton of upside with a ton of speed and a little bit of power upside at home in the Cell. Eaton hit righties to the tune of a .367 wOBA and 134 wRC+ in 2015. As mentioned above, Dickey is bad vs both righties and lefties and if his knuckler isn't working, he will get destroyed. I look for Eaton to be right in the middle of a great White Sox performance.

Consider - Oswaldo Arcia, Billy Burns, Rafael Ortega, Dexter Fowler
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57 Visitor Comments

  1. Kicking myself for pulling Miggy. Still an ok day. Lets see what today holds.

  2. I know he’s facing Sale, but Encarnacion is only 3,300 on DK… thoughts as cheap way to get a big bat in a potent lineup? 1-4 with a HR and 2Ks still gets you a HR…

    • In general, I think plays like this are rarely worth it against good pitchers on big slates. Yes that’s cheap. But even with a reduced price point (maybe 20% less than average), Sale is somewhere around 30% better than a league average starting pitcher. That’s such a drastic reduction in expected plate appearances over the course of the game.

      • Hi Tim G, I disagree with Doug here. In a GPP, a contrarian stack like this against an elite pitcher can push you near the top of the leader board if it hits because of several reasons. For starters you get a low owned lineup with pop. Secondly, if they do get to Sale, it boosts you up while it hurts everyone playing Sale. If you went that route though, I would recommend getting as many Jays in your stack as possible, not just a one off in Encarnacion.

        • Oh sure. I agree with this concept for a tournament. I think many, many more scenarios are in play there if you can tolerate the risk over the long term. I was specifically referring to cash game play thinking even at the reduced price point you’d be hard pressed to make a case for him as a safer play.

  3. Dumb question but can you explain what you mean when you say someone is a strict tournament play? Just curious of the strategy behind that

    • The idea, is they could just as easily go 0-4 and get a 0 as they could got 3-4 and get 18 points. basically need 14-15 points (Draft kings scoring) from every spot to have a shot at placing really high in a tourney, so guys who go 1-4 with a run and get 6 points dont help with that.

      But in a h2h or a game with only 3-5 people, you can place or win getting only 10 points per roster spot. So a guy who gets 6 or 7 is ok paired with a guy who get 15 to even out.

      • Right. And there’s a certain standard deviation for players that depends on the profile. Guys like say Denard Span who traditionally rarely K but also hit for little power will have a lower Sdev than say Giancarlo Stanton who’s high K, huge power.

  4. Jake,
    It means they’re riskier plays and not as safe.

  5. Surprised there aren’t any KC players since the Angels are rolling out Weaver today.

    • Prob because KC is difficult to predict

  6. Correction for your Zobrist Cubs windage. The wind will be blowing 14-17 mph inwards at gametime.

    • Yep, looks like it flipped around since last night.

  7. I think everyone and their mom will be all over Encarnacion tonight since he finally has a stellar game. He has a .500 average against Sale in only 10 at bats. I’m not touching Encarnacion tonight. Too much risk against Sale for me with tons of other value all over the boards tonight. He’s facing Sale away and in a pitchers park. He’s a good go against the grain play. But he’s 3700 on fanduel and just not worth it.
    I’m going for Fielder or Belt or Abreu tonight in my lineups.

    • I was looking at loading up Scherzer and Price in my lineup tonight. Leaves only about 3300-3400 per remaining batter spot on DK. I dont see many value spots under 3000 to really allow spending up at any position. What 2nd pitcher would you feel good spending down on?

      • Values under 3000 usually aren’t revealed until lineups are being released because they’re non starters except catchers or typically bat in unfavorable spot. Not all cases but more often than not

        • This is correct. We work with certain baseline assumptions during the time before lineups are released. Then things can change dramatically depending on who is hitting where.

  8. Looking for a good Cash 1B and Cash OF I have Abreu at 1st and McCutchen / Ellsbury / Eaton at OF any changes?

    • Not for me. The Tigers have too many guys that historically destroy lefties. I would throw go with a Velasquez or Volquez if I am looking to be sneaky

  9. How about Cards /Athletics stack tn?

  10. I usually play those free DK games with the top 5 prize to get a feel for how I will make my cash and tourny line ups for the day. Yesterday, I actually placed 4th in the turbo game and won a step one ticket (thanks to 5% owned Matt Joyce). My question is: how do these step games usually work? With only 10 participants with top 4 winning to ticket to next round, should I make my line up like a cash game or tourny. Any experience with these games and advice appreciated. How many points should place me, etc….Thanks.

    • That payout structure is basically a typical cash game with 10% take so yes, deploying a safer lineup is the way to go.

  11. Interesting note about De La Rosa vs. the Pirates is he has yet to allow a HR to them in 59 ABs…albeit a small sample of about 3 games vs them and only just one of them in Colorado back in 2014 but he did win that game in a rout 10-1….perhaps he can keep the Pirates at bay again….a Pirates stack is far from safe

    • Agree on the sample size being too small and the non-Coors piece mitigating any stock I’d put in that number.

    • You can’t look at a sample size that is that small. we are talking about 20 at-bats against a completely different team 2 years ago.

    • Yes Wayne exactly. I never pick on La Rosa too much. Good pitcher but he’s stuck in coors half the time . I’ll usually play 1-2 bata vs him in the scenario for cash but stay away in gpp

  12. De La Rosa always seems to lock it down when I try and attack him he’s still pretty decent pitcher doesn’t even seem like that long ago him and Ubaldo were one of the more dominant 1-2 pitching combos

    • While it seems that way, De La Rosa gives it up to righties at home.

  13. Thoughts on a heavy Cubs lineup with two mini CWS/OAK stacks?

    • The Cubs are awesome but Vegas has lowered the O/U on that game because of the wind. Vegas thinks it significant enough to knock the Cubbies down some with winds at 16mph blowing inward. I don’t know how much it will push me off the Cubs but it definitely slows me down some.

      • Where is a good place to check on wind speeds and other factors like that affecting games?

        • Rotogrinders has a meteorologist on staff. He gives daily weather reports and updates them throughout the day.

  14. I need a good 1B for cash in the $3000 and under range.

    • A good 1B for $3000? That is tough because you are asking for cash game plays. You can punt, but punts are not cash plays. First base is not normally a position to punt too though. Good luck.

  15. Rob Abreu 3000 on FD be dickey. He hammers dickey.
    4000 on dk a little closer

  16. I like price on FD and Hendricks price on dk
    Abreu and possibly eaton and Vogt at catcher . Most lefty bats are in play for Oakland vs pelfrey. He’s God awful also walker vs finnegan loops decent. And mercer if leadoff
    I think for outfield it’s best to wait on value

  17. Sneaky stack is the Twins.Lock it up lol

  18. Doug Austyn how come system hates Neil walker

    • Walker is absolutely atrocious against lefties.

      • Thanks guys I’m learning a lot this year
        thx for always responding to me. It’s great

  19. Rangers-Yankees game is looking very iffy.

    Who is everyones cheap sleeper plays for cash games tonight? I can’t decide if I want to stack two expensive pitchers and go cheap with bats or just take one expensive pitcher? Whats everyones thoughts?

  20. I won all 9 of my 50/50’s with varying lineups, some included miggy some didn’t. Gomes was clutch yesterday , i even won one where i screwed up and left mccuthch in.

  21. Price is the obvious pick, a little too obvious I think. He will be owned heavy.
    Alexi Ramirez and John Jay have destroyed Cueto previously.
    Soler and Schoop also big value plays with history of torching pitchers.

    • Wouldn’t use BvP as a baseline for my decisions as small sample size. Usually only look to see if something sticks like Jay 12-29 3 HRs or Alexei Ramirez 7-11 but you also have to factor in how many of those ABs were at AT&T . I’m sure plenty were at hitter havens in Cincinnati and Chicago

  22. Jason Rogers/Betts

    Which combo?

  23. FanDuel player, Tournaments. I have a mccutchen and marte playing with stacks from oak and chisox to go along with it. I’m kind of iffy on the sox stack part of it. Does anyone think I’d be better off with a twins stack involving Arica and Park? They are facing a pitcher who has given up a chunk of hits and HRs this yr.

    • From all of my research today, the Chi-Sox are an elite play today. Don’t overthink it too much. Sounds like you have a pretty good team on paper. White Sox have a solid history against Dickey who is a knuckleball guy. That pitch is nasty when moving…a flat out meatball when it is not. Right now, R.A.’s is not moving. Combine that with Rogers Field and enjoy the Sox lefties take Dickey yard multiple times!

  24. That’s pretty much my strategy for the day, except I couldn’t afford Cutch. I’ve got Mercer at SS. I like the White Sox’s chances today.

  25. Jesus christ,david price is at it again. And i should of left Shaw in my lineups. i had him 🙁

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